Supreme Court Nominations

Schumer Sees Link Between Citizens United Ruling and ‘Ethereal’ Justices


A Democratic senator says the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance shows the need for justices who have more real-world experience.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is among several Democrats—including the president—who have criticized the January ruling that found corporations have a First Amendment right to support political candidates. Schumer, a graduate of Harvard law school and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he doesn’t care about a nominee’s law school background—but he does care about practical experience, the Washington Post reports.

Citizens United showed that when you get someone who’s too ethereal, they miss the practical,” Schumer said. “If you’ve had practical experience on the ground, in this case in politics, you know how destructive that can be.”

Other Democrats weighing in on possible replacements for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens emphasize the need for nominees with varied résumés and with law school degrees outside of the Ivy League, the Post says.

According to the story, three justices attended law school at Yale and five attended Harvard (including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who attended both Harvard and Columbia). Stevens went to Northwestern.

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